More than one in five employees at the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism's main Columbia office no longer have jobs after significant funding cuts were handed down the past few years.

The agency this week axed 13 full-time jobs as of June 1. The announcement followed action earlier this month to cut another 14 employees working through the state retirement program or on a temporary basis, according to PRT spokesman Marion Edmonds.

The spokesman said 19 of the 27 affected employees work out of the agency's Columbia office, which included 92 staff members before the cutbacks. He said PRT also offered a voluntary separation package to employees close to retirement.

Edmonds said the job cuts span every program within the agency.

"A lot of what we do in the market is driven by two things: One, what the Legislature chooses to establish, and two, what's happening in the marketplace," Edmonds said.

PRT has seen an $11 million funding drop over the past three years.

It began in the 2007-08 year with $34 million, wound up with $27 million in 2008-09 and by the end of this year will have a $23 million budget, according to agency figures.

Next year's budget stands at a little more than $18 million.

PRT operates and manages state parks and promotes South Carolina as a vacation destination.

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